1985 Pakistani general election

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1985 Pakistani general election

← 1977 25 February 1985 1988 →

All 237 seats in the National Assembly
119 seats needed for a majority
Turnout52.93% (Decrease 10.17pp)
  First party
Party Independents
Seats won 237
Percentage 100%

Winning party by constituency

Prime Minister before election

None (vacant since 1977 due to martial law)

Elected Prime Minister

Muhammad Khan Junejo

General elections were held in Pakistan on 25 February 1985 to elect members of the National Assembly.[1] The elections were held under the military government of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq after the restoration of the 1973 constitution.

Around 1,300 candidates contested the elections, which were held on a nonpartisan basis.[2] Each candidate was required to have their nomination paper signed by 50 registered voters from the constituency they wished to stand in.[3] In an attempt to disqualify a large number of opposition candidates and secure a conservative leadership, Zia-ul-Haq introduced amendments to the Political Parties Act of 1962. As a result, the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD), which was calling for an end to the military regime, boycotted the elections.[4]

Voter turnout was 52.93%, considerably lower than the previous two elections.[1] Most of the elected MNAs were supporters of the Zia regime. A new government was formed under the leadership of Muhammad Khan Junejo, a lesser known figure in national politics. Prime Minister Junejo and his followers subsequently established the pro-Zia conservative Pakistan Muslim League.


Seats reserved for women21
Seats reserved for non-Muslim minorities9
Total votes17,250,482
Registered voters/turnout32,589,99652.93
Source: IPU


Following the elections, Muhammad Khan Junejo was appointed Prime Minister and later formed a new party, the Pakistan Muslim League. The election boycott was viewed to have been a misstep for the MRD, which had assumed the public would support its stance.[4]


  1. ^ a b Pakistan Inter-Parliamentary Union
  2. ^ Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz & Christof Hartmann (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume I, p678 ISBN 0-19-924958-X
  3. ^ Report on the General Elections, 1985, Election Commission of Pakistan, 1986, p300
  4. ^ a b General Elections, February 1985 Story of Pakistan